Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Favorite Thing: Pinterest

One of my new favorite things courtesy of the internet is this little website called Pinterest where you can make virtual inspiration boards from any images you find online. Their definition of the website's name is Pin·terest (pĭn'trĭst): n. a place to share visual collections of things you love. I think the concept is fabulous, and the execution is spot on and beautiful.

Kitchen Herb Garden from LarkingAbout

I've been have a grand time going through my old bookmarks of pages where I liked a picture and have been able to post all those images to themed boards while still linking back to the original content. It's also helped to clean out my overcrowded bookmarks.

So far my fullest boards are Home Style Inspiration, full of things I'd love to see done in my home, and Project Ideas and Inspiration, which I love being able to go to when I'm a little stuck creatively.

If you'd like to use this website yourself leave your email address and I'll be happy to send you an invite.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New additions to the Photo Arsenal

I've always wanted a little film Pentax to play with. So when we found a Pentax MX at an estate sale for $20 with two lenses and the only problem was the light seals had long ago turned gummy, I felt like I had a gem. So I spent $10 on a pre-cut seal kit from a seller on ebay, and spent an entire morning cleaning up my new baby. Now I have a working Pentax camera and my first experimental shots were on some expired Kodak 200 speed rolls that I picked up at Goodwill.

The photos turned out with a bit of a green cast to them, but I'm still excited to see what will come out of that little lovely from a fresh roll of film.

For my birthday I received a film/slide scanner that has been just wonderful to work with. I scanned not only that picture above but I've been working on scanning my mother and grandmother's old slides so they can be printed as photos and all the siblings can have copies. I can't wait to get it set up again and get cracking on that project.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Up in the Air

Everything has been up in the air lately, along with many of our travel plans for this summer. I'll just try to sum everything up as best I can.

I took the trip out to New York for our family reunion and it was such a grand time. We went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, ate at the Carnegie deli, and saw my first Broadway show. We played the role of the typical tourist and went everywhere we could, squeezing in every sight we could into just three days.

The trip didn't end quite as well as I was greeted with the news that my husband Richard had been laid off from his teaching position. A total of 482 teachers throughout the district were laid off with no warning - just a pink slip in the mail on Saturday. Things don't look quite as grim as they did at first. First we learned that the district had not yet taken into account the 300 or so retirees from this year and what money/positions that would open up. Then we discovered that the way the layoffs were carried out for the Immersion school where Richard works were explicitly against the teachers' contracts. Both of those facts coupled with the degrees necessary for his position mean that the likelihood that there is someone else with seniority to take Richard's place is slim.

Hopefully he'll merely be asked to step back into in position come August, but until then we're tightening our belts and getting in as many doctors appointments as we can before our health insurance disappears. I've started applying at temp agencies and Richard is almost set to step back into his job at Apple.

We're still proceeding with the house, because there's really no reason not to. It will cost just as much to remain in our apartment for one year as it will for a downpayment and mortgage payments and utilities on the house for the same year. The only difference of course will be improvements on the house, but those can be delayed if need be, and we certainly know how to do clean up on the cheap. I'm also a freecycle pro, and I'll go ahead and put this out there - if anyone has house modifying skills I'm always up for working in trade if I can do something you need.

I wish there was better news to share, but I still had some great weeks traveling to North Carolina for my cousin Beaty's wedding and to New York for the Reunion, and I'll be sharing photos from both very soon.